I'm Zeynep Öykü, Turkish harpist, teacher, radio programmer, sound engineer. My name, Öykü means story in Turkish and this is my story...
The first time I saw a harp was in ?Hans Christian Andersen?s The Little Mermaid?, a Japanese anime from 1975 staying true to the original story where the prince marries another woman and the mermaid dies. I was maybe 6 or 7 and not used to sad endings. I watched it over and over, cursing the prince's stupidity, trying to imagine how things would have been different if Marina wasn't interrupted while playing her harp at the palace, while telling him a wordless story of the sea.
Years later, I was 13 years old when I saw my first actual harp, in the display of a music shop in England where I was attending a summer school. That tiny, low quality harp with a horrible sound seemed like a gift from heaven to me. It was my first harp. After 10 years of struggling with this instrument, it still brings me the childish sense of wonder and the smell of sea foam from that distant, fairy-tale palace.